If you asked us to describe the benefits of the enterprise machine, one of the biggest would certainly be that it allows you to greatly broaden the potential of products you’re already making. 

We can talk about that all we want, but few things are as good for showing the benefits of an idea than a good old-fashioned example. 

That’s exactly what we thought of when we read about Chinese technology company Xloong, and what they’re doing to change the way smart glasses are being used. 

Smart glasses are a great example in this context. They’ve been around for some time–Google Glasses, for example, were first announced in 2012–but have not yet found commercial success. Smart glasses never took off the way smartphones did, either for consumers or in the enterprise, and to date, not many companies have found a compelling use case for this fringe technology.

The hardware, then, has been in the picture all along. But the software hasn’t yet provided a compelling use case outside of a few gimmicky ideas. 

Enter Xloong. In an article for TechNode, writer Emma Lee describes the company’s efforts to repackage smart glasses technology and make it “sexy” to businesses by way of enterprise applications. “AR glasses,” Lee says, “are only fancied by a small group of techies and far from large-scale mass adoption.”

Xloong, though, sees smart glasses differently. Though they’ve made some changes to the typical base smart glasses hardware–by adding 4G connectivity, for example–the majority of Xloong’s innovation has been on the software front. Xloong’s software, Lee says, applies “computer vision, binocular simultaneous localization and mapping, big data, [and] machine learning,” and represents a feature set focused on security and logistics, with technologies like ID recognition, and facial and object recognition. 

While it remains too early to tell exactly where and how Xloong’s smart AR glasses may be used, this tech evolution is a clear example of the power of software in finding broader use cases for existing technology. 

Of course, these smart glasses aren’t an exact example of an enterprise machine as we’ve discussed over the past few months. There’s no embedded app store that opens up the product to outside developers. But the key principle remains the same: Xloong saw a piece of hardware already in production, and developed apps to greatly expand its functionality and practicality. In that sense, these smart glasses represent exactly what the enterprise machine movement is all about.

Consider similar examples in your business. Do you have a product or piece of hardware already in production that you want to see used in new and creative ways? Something you haven’t yet found a clear and concise business use case for? If so, the enterprise machine approach could, we think, help unlock the potential of your suite of products.

Xloong is hardly the only example of a company making a product dramatically more useful with a software change, but they are certainly a current and exciting representation of what we believe in so passionately. The question, then, is what opportunities like this exist within your company. Where are your AR glasses, and how are you going to use them?